The beauty of religion

Today we live in a world of boxes, we are either Muslims or Christians, we are either Hindus or Sikhs, we are either Liberals or Conservatives.
But there’s the main thing most of us forget when we start to hate on a group or a person, we forget we all are human.
Before I begin my post I would first want you all to read these verses from different holy scriptures, I have purposely not mentioned the Holy Book  that I’ve taken the verse from and I mention it only at the end
1.Those who believe and do good deeds — the Gracious God will create love in their hearts.

2.” And the second is like, ,unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as yourself
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.
3.”This person is my relative and that person is a stranger, says the small minded one, for the one who knows the truth, the whole world is a family.”
4.“ Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.”
5.”As long as man considers one an enemy, and another a friend, his mind will not come to rest”
6.”Our Rabbis taught, ‘Give sustenance to the poor of the non-Jews along with the poor of Israel. Visit the sick of the non-Jews along with the sick of Israel. Bury the dead of the non-Jews along with the dead of Israel – Because of the ways of peace”

 

7.”O Mazda, from the beginning you created soul and body. You granted man the mental power and knowledge. You placed life in the physical body and gave mankind the power to act, speak and guide. You wished that everyone should choose his or her own faith and path freely”.

8. “In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self”.
Let us take a moment and look at these verses which represent almost all the world’s major religions and let us try to understand the central meaning in all of them. We forget the underlying principle of every religion- tolerance for one another and for other cultures.
Over the many years we have seen the meaning of this turn from love all  to love only those who belong to same community you belong to.
The message of love,compassion,tolerance,peace and humanity has hidden itself somewhere over the years and in between the  thousands of different interpretations of religion.
This message of peace and love has been substituted by putting ourselves into boxes based on race,religion and creed.
I frequently use a paragraph when I’m trying to explain to people why it’s dangerous to view ourselves as a particular statistic and not as a member of the human race-
‘The surveys and census tell you there are millions of Christians, many who are American, they tell you there are thousands of Buddhists and many more Muslims, they point out some people have more money and some have less , but the only thing they don’t tell you is that all these people Americans, Catholics, Baptists, the rich, the Shias, the paupers all belong  to the human race’
This for me seems to be the single largest mistake we make, we no longer see ourselves as humans with the same red blood flowing through us.Hundreds of years of division and hatred has led us nowhere, the wounds of racism,communalism, sexism will take many years to heal.But somehow I stress on the need to study our past as well, it’s so important to know about the civil rights movement or the holocaust not because it’s a part of history but it ensures the history books on the shelf don’t keep repeating themselves.Hatred on the basis on religion and creed has only one cure and that’s understanding our culture and the culture of those who aren’t like us a little better.
It’s not just important to tolerate the noise from our neighbours celebrating a festival, it’s important to go join them in the festivities and learn about their culture and share the joy and warmth with them as well.

It’s not fair to claim all people of a religion are evil or bad because of mistakes done by a few or due to an historical event  and it’s dangerous to view another community as evil or bad, it’s important to respect and cherish our diversity, our culture and our traditions however different and mosaic like they may be.

I finally end my post with the verses I started it with and this time I add the name of the Holy book I have taken it from-
The reason for this is simply to highlight how similar we all are- race, religion,caste,creed they are only nouns and adjectives but the feeling that we belong to the human race? That’s a connection. Notice how similar the meaning of all these verses are? Notice the underlying message they try to convey?
Here we are thinking we are so different from each other (and we are, don’t get me wrong) but we fail to notice our similarities as well 🙂
1.Those who believe and do good deeds — the Gracious God will create love in their hearts.  (Al Quran 19:97)

2.[39] “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
[40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”-Matthew 22 verse 39-40-The Holy Bible
3.”This person is my relative and that person is a stranger, says the small minded one, for the one who knows the truth, the whole world is a family.” -Maha Upanishad
4.“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.” – The Buddha
5.ਜਬ ਧਾਰੈ ਕੋਊ ਬੈਰੀ ਮੀਤੁ ॥ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਚੀਤੁ ॥: Jabb dhaarai koyu bairee meet. Tabb lagu nihachal naahee cheet ( As long as man considers one an enemy, and another a friend, his mind will not come to rest) (sggs 278).- Sri Guru Granth Sahib
6.Our Rabbis taught, ‘Give sustenance to the poor of the non-Jews along with the poor of Israel. Visit the sick of the non-Jews along with the sick of Israel. Bury the dead of the non-Jews along with the dead of Israel – Because of the ways of peace.’” – Babylonian Talmud Gitten 61a
7. “O Mazda, from the beginning you created soul and body. You granted man the mental power and knowledge. You placed life in the physical body and gave mankind the power to act, speak and guide. You wished that everyone should choose his or her own faith and path freely”.-
(Yasna 31, verse 11, translated from the Avestan language).

 

8. “In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.”-
Mahavira

Put a little love in your hearts and make this world a better place, for you and for me 🙂

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